Saudi Cabinet condemns terror attacks in Egypt, Tunis

The Cabinet was informed about the results of the crown prince’s visits to South Korea and Japan. (SPA)
Updated 03 July 2019

Saudi Cabinet condemns terror attacks in Egypt, Tunis

  • Pledges to continue support for Palestinian rights

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday condemned the terrorist attack on Abha International Airport carried out by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in which nine civilians, including an Indian citizen, were injured.
The Cabinet stressed the assertion of the Arab coalition that the terrorists behind this attack will be held accountable in accordance with the international laws and conventions.
Following the session chaired by King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, Dr. Issam bin Saad bin Saeed, state minister, Cabinet member and acting minister of media, said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency that he wished the injured people a speedy recovery.
The Cabinet reasserted that the Kingdom will keep on supporting Palestinian refugees, and emphasized the contents of the Kingdom’s speech at the conference for supporting the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in New York and its reiteration to the Palestinians’ inalienable right of return.
The Cabinet also strongly condemned the terrorist attack in El-Arish, north Sinai in Egypt, and the two bomb blasts in Tunis. The ministers also condemned the unfortunate events that took place at the Bahrain Embassy in Baghdad at the hands of protesters and praised the Iraqi government’s stance and the measures it took the ensure the safety of the Bahraini envoy.
Bin Saeed said the Cabinet was informed about the results of the Kingdom’s participation in the G20 Summit held in the Japanese city of Osaka. The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who met – on the sidelines of the summit – the leaders and heads of participating states who reviewed cooperation with Kingdom and discussed ways to bolster mutual cooperation.
The Cabinet was also informed about the results of the crown prince’s visits to South Korea and Japan.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The Cabinet also strongly condemned the terrorist attack in El-Arish, north Sinai in Egypt and the two bomb blasts in Tunis.

• The ministers also condemned the unfortunate events that took place at the Bahrain Embassy in Baghdad.

• It was also informed about the results of the crown prince’s visits to South Korea and Japan.

The Cabinet accepted donations of SR10 million ($2.7 million), SR5 million and SR2 million from King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi interior minister respectively for the second phase of “Fourijat” service, as a way to provide constant attention to reuniting prisoners and their families and provide their needs.
The Cabinet confirmed that the Kingdom’s membership of the Group of States of the Joint Ministerial Statement on Electronic Commerce of the World Trade Organization reflects the leadership’s interest in e-commerce to achieve the goals of Vision 2030.
The Cabinet decided to delegate the energy minister — or a person appointed by the latter — to hold talks with Ukraine on a renewable energy and alternative fuels project.
The Cabinet also decided to delegate the foreign minister — or a person appointed by the latter — to discuss with the Albanian side an MoU about the reciprocal exemption of short-term visa for diplomatic and special passport holders for Saudis only, and diplomatic and service passport holders for Albanians only.
The Cabinet also decided that the Council for Family Affairs (women’s committee) should represent the Kingdom in the women’s development council at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.


Tolerance key to promoting inclusive society: EU envoy

Updated 17 October 2019

Tolerance key to promoting inclusive society: EU envoy

  • Intellectuals, diplomats discuss challenge of blending cultures, faiths and values

RIYADH/JEDDAH: The European envoy to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday called for more tolerance and respect to help bring diverse societies closer together.

Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso, head of the EU delegation to the Kingdom, made his appeal as he welcomed attendees to a high-profile lecture to discuss Saudi and European perspectives on religious tolerance and diversity.

Organized by the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS), the event gathered together top intellectuals, diplomats and scholars to debate the issues of tolerance, forgiveness and acceptance of others.

Opening the lecture at the King Faisal Foundation building in Riyadh, d’Urso spoke about tolerance and how it was core to the transformation of societies, especially in Europe which had become more diverse.

“Today’s European society is a mixture of cultures, faiths, values, ideas, and habits. The challenge is to make sure our society is more inclusive, enhance mutual understanding and promote tolerance and respect,” the envoy said.

He pointed to the UN’s blossoming partnership with the KFCRIS and the importance of the lecture as key building blocks in the process of bridging cultural and religious gaps between societies.

“I think there are few more teams that are exchanging on the Saudi and European perspectives of religious tolerance and diversity. All of us know that the KFCRIS builds from the legacy of the late King Faisal and has been a pillar in promoting Islam,” d’Urso added.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso, head of the EU delegation to the Kingdom, made his appeal as he welcomed attendees to a high-profile lecture to discuss Saudi and European perspectives on religious tolerance and diversity.
  • Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), told delegates that when he talked about tolerance in Islam, he also meant tolerance in Saudi Arabia as a state that applied and was governed by Shariah law.
  • The director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Dr. Michael Privot, who converted to Islam 26 years ago, spoke about how the EU was characterized by increasing diversity, including religious and philosophical beliefs, even from the Muslim perspective.

He noted that in Europe there were many people of faith that had respect for coexistence. 

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), told delegates that when he talked about tolerance in Islam, he also meant tolerance in Saudi Arabia as a state that applied and was governed by Shariah law.

He said a state that respected others, human existence and brotherhood could not exist “unless there is respect for diversity and differences as a universal norm that no one can collide.”

According to Al-Issa, the Charter of Madinah (regarded as the first Islamic state constitution) was considered one of the best achievements of civil legislation in human history. “This document was held by the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, with the Jews and represented binding legislation for Muslims toward religious minorities.”

The MWL chief noted that the document included the protection of civil and religious rights. “The document cannot be absorbed by extremism, it is clear. These rights and freedoms have been preserved by this legislation. And the Prophet Muhammad coexisted with everyone and understood these differences and diversity.”

In his speech, Al-Issa explained how the Qur’an gave Jews and Christians a special name to celebrate their religious origins where they were called “people of the book,” in reference to the Torah and the Gospel. The history of Christians and Jews was also never omitted.

Addressing the event, director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Dr. Michael Privot, who converted to Islam 26 years ago, spoke about how the EU was characterized by increasing diversity, including religious and philosophical beliefs, even from the Muslim perspective.

“We encounter such a diversity of ways of being Muslim from a theoretical, cultural, philosophical, ideological point of view. Any single Muslim group or community is represented somewhere in Europe and this situation puts European Muslims in a very unique environment which is different from any other Islamic majority society in the world,” said Privot.

He pointed out that for the first time in history Muslim groups from Uzbekistan and Senegal were living together and trying to become a community in European societies.

“Societies, which have completely liberalized the market of religions, believe all faiths are accepted,” he added.

Earlier on Monday, an MWL forum in Makkah recommended that Islamic discourse should adhere to the principles of the Qur’an and Sunnah, the Muslims’ uppermost legislative sources, which are also known as the Two Divine Revelations.

The forum, titled “The Service of the Two Revelations,” called upon concerned authorities in the Muslim world to regulate Islamic fatwas in a way that prevented extremism and stopped producing any misguided explanations of the divinely revealed texts.

The participants also encouraged the use of modern technology, especially social media, to better serve the Qur’an and Sunnah to help link Muslim youths with the two revelations.

In addition, the gathering proposed establishing platforms for producing software and smart apps related to the Qur’an and Sunnah and the launch of an international service award under the umbrella of the MWL.

Al-Issa added that the MWL had staged a number of Qur’an memorization programs in 78 countries and said there were now 68 colleges and institutes where 7,500 students were studying the Qur’an.

“Some 61,275 Qur’an readers have graduated from these institutes, with 5,055 reciters having obtained authentic reading certificates. The IOQAS (International Organization of Qitab and Sunnah) has also carried out 193 training courses and provided nearly 3,000 scholarships,” he said.